The Ministry of Economy and Finance of the State has created an institution that handles the gaming industry in the public Italian territory. This organ is called AAMS – Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato (Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies). The continuously increasing demand of game by people, in the form of traditional games such as Lotto, Superenalotto, Gratta e Vinci, or with the more recent introduction of games like poker online. In this way, AAMS created a set of rules in order to establish the regulatory terms of agreement between suppliers and users of public games.
What can the AAMS do
AAMS is responsible for everything concerning the game including AAMS online casinos. Operators who want to start an activity in Italy have to deal with AAMS. This organ is also involved in the taxation (aspect) of the game, setting the cost of license fees and taxes both operators and players must pay on the proceeds coming from gambling. Furthermore, AAMS has the power to stop and block gambling operators that do not respect the laws: there are so many online gambling sites already obscured by AAMS, and their number is exponentially growing day by day.
AAMS and online poker
AAMS paid a particular attention to online poker, an increasing phenomenon among italian players. Since spring 2008, any poker room wishing to operate legally in Italy must necessarily acquire a license issued by AAMS, which has also decided part of the game rules. For example, it is not possible at the present time to organize poker tournament with a buy-in more than 100 euros, while, until 18th July 2011 online poker cash games were absolutely forbidden. Things are changing, because a law published in early 2011 has raised the buy-in tournament level at 250 euros and has introduced the possibility to play online poker cash games (provided you do not use more than 1,000 euros per session): starting from Spring 2011 both these innovations will probably be active.
Cost of License
The acquisition costs of the AAMS license, unfortunately, are much greater than in any other country in the world. Depending on the type of game you want to propose, the license varies from 50,000 € to 350,000 € and the operator can offer online gambling games for a period of time equal to about 9 years.
Apart from costs, the necessary requirements to be AAMS eligible are:
- Financial year of games’ management in one of the countries of the European Economic Area with a turnover of at least € 1,500,000.00 Euros in the last two years
- Possession of technical and infrastructural capacities and bank guarantee equal to the sum of 1500000,00 €
- Constitution of the corporate capital
- Directors meeting reliability requirements
- Technological infrastructure must be located inside EU member states
The gaming operator has the obligation to stipulate a contract with the player. Access to the casino lobby can only be obtained after the recording of user data that will be transmitted to the electronic database of the Central Administration of State Monopolies.
In addition, the licensee will be obliged to submit to AAMS “anonymous” information, regarding game, withdrawals and payments made on the player's account.
For those who do not operate according to these criteria, fines are provided (from 500 to 5000 euros), or even jail (from 3 months to 1 year).
The AAMS organization
The AAMS General Director is Raffaele Ferrara. A step below, we can find the Director of Strategy and Games (Antonio Tagliaferri), the Director of Excise (Diego Rispoli) and the Director for Resources’ Organization and Management (Fabio Carducci). Each one uses his own office and has a pool of collaborators. AAMS has regional offices in all parts of Italy, but the headquarters is in Rome.
- Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato
- Piazza Mastai, 11
- 00153 ROMA
- Tel General: 06/58571
- Website: www.aams.gov.it